Administrator's Monthly Update

Peggy Larson

A message from Peggy Larson
District Administrator

I hope you got a chance to look over the front page of the Winneconne News...great stuff is happening! State Report Card data is amazing - not only does the report card say amazing things about our students and staff, but our community as well. Together, we have built a community school system that truly sets up our students for success. Additionally, hopefully you saw the ad encouraging you to attend the board meeting on Dec. 3, 2018 at 6:30 PM at the WCAC. The plan is to have the firms present their findings regarding our facilities and our future enrollment. We hope you can attend or at least keep reading the Winneconne News. We will continue to provide information. Of course, you can always call or email me too larsonm@w-csd.org (920) 582-5802.

Onto my monthly article:
I shared 10 tips to make your children’s learning more visible. I took the tips from the work of Ron Ritchhart and Michael McDowell. Hopefully these tips will help make you feel more part of what your child(ren) is/are learning at school.

Each month, I intend to go just a bit deeper into each of the tips. This month we will focus on tip #3.

3. Challenge but Don’t Rescue.
We learn a lot from making mistakes, pushing ourselves out of our comfort zone, and taking risks to try new things. Regularly encountering challenges, mistakes, and failure builds a growth mindset and develops intellectual resilience. When your child encounters difficulties, don’t jump in to solve the problem and rescue him/her. Instead, ask questions that will help him/her to think through the problem, identify, and choose a course of action for moving forward.
I think out of the 10 tips this is my favorite. James Nottingham, co-founder and director of Challenging Learning created something called the Learning Pit. At the core of the Learning Challenge is “the pit.” Learners are said to be “in the pit” when they are in a state of “cognitive conflict.” That is to say when learners have two or more ideas that make sense to them but which on reflection, are in conflict with each other. It is in the pit where students struggle/think through to find solutions. James talks about an Eureka moment. Eureka means, “I found it.” Not my teacher found it, or my mom found it. Eureka, I found it! We know when students discover their answer or hit that Eureka moment, they usually do not stop talking about their discovery. This also goes back to tip #2, growth mindset. The pit allows students to discover their learning which creates that growth mindset - I can learn! I can improve! So, let your children ponder and think. Don’t provide your solutions. Let them come up with their own solution. I realize it is difficult to watch your child(ren) struggle, but ask questions - don’t give them the answers. When they discover solutions on their own the self-confidence will grow! 

The members of Board of Education and I are committed to keeping the community informed about the District’s progress and all decisions impacting our schools. If you have any questions, please contact me at (920) 582-5802 ext. 3141 or larsonm@w-csd.org.

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